LIVE UK is the only publication dedicated to the country’s contemporary live music business, providing news, features, tour plans and information to the people that drive the industry – promoters, festival organisers, venue operators, artiste managers, booking agents, ticketing companies, media and key professionals in dozens of related sectors.
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  festival is an annual planning-season supplement of LIVE UK, published in December, January, February and March – when the bulk of festival production deals are concluded – providing news, features, information and events data for the business people behind festivals. From April to October, it becomes a two-page section within LIVE UK.

  Sister publication to LIVE UK, AUDIENCE is the world's leading monthly magazine for the international contemporary live music industry, providing news, features and information to professionals in more than 78 countries worldwide. Circulation includes thousands of promoters, festival organisers, venue operators and key people in dozens of related sectors..



ISSUE 213, October 2017

Rockers anti-tout controls
ignored by secondary sites  

TWO OF the world’s biggest bands, Foo Fighters and Metallica, have invested their money producing personalised tickets, with the bands, venues and promoters stipulating that only the original buyer with ID would be allowed into their shows. 

Ahead of their 19 September show at London’s The O2 (configured for 18,500), Foo Fighters, the venue and promoter SJM Concerts had advertised the fact the personalised tickets would not be valid, as matching ID would be required on the night.

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Hope and Glory creditors revealed

THE MAJORITY of the 32 creditors owed money by the company behind the failed Hope and Glory Festival (HGF) in Liverpool, which entered liquidation with debts of £888,984, are unlikely to be reimbursed after it was revealed it has assets of only just £63,600 (see LIVE UK issue 212. 

Among those left out of pocket are ticketing companies Eventbrite and Skiddle, which are owed £138,368 and £73,000, respectively – Eventbrite sold more than three-quarters of the tickets for the 12,500-capacity event, while Skiddle provided back-office white label facilities for promoter tinyCOW – itself owed £71,000 – run by festival organiser Lee O’Hanlon.

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Royal Albert Hall in hot water
over damaging’ actions of seat owners

THE CHARITY Commission has reported London’s 5,272-capacity Royal Albert Hall (RAH) to the Attorney General over concerns about the venue’s debenture holders selling tickets at inflated prices.

The charity regulator wants the Attorney General to refer a number of concerns about how the venue operates to the Charity Tribunal, with the main issue being how RAH trustees can privately own seats and profit from them, while controlling the hall’s board.

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Agent Craft retires

VETERAN AGENT and co-founder of X-ray Touring Jeff Craft has announced his retirement. 

With a roster of artistes including Elbow, Pixies and PJ Harvey, Craft began his career in the late 1970s at Cowbell, before moving to Derek Block Artist’s Agency, John Jackson’s Fair Warning, Martin Hopewell’s World Service, before moving onto Helter Skelter.

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CMA approves Live Nation’s
Isle of Wight festival takeover

THE COMPETITION and Markets Authority (CMA) has given Live Nation Entertainment (LNE) clearance to complete its acquisition of a majority stake in the 42,000-capacity Isle of Wight Festival, dismissing criticism that the global giant is becoming too dominant in the festival sector.

The watchdog has been investigating the takeover since April following concerns the deal, instigated by LN-Gaiety – the joint venture between LNE and Irish live music entrepreneur Denis Desmond, who is also LNE’s non-executive chairman – would result in a decrease in festival sector competition. 

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Marquee founder Pendleton dies

AS LIVE UK went to press it was revealed Harold Pendleton, the founder of legendary Marquee club in London and the Reading Festival, had died at the age of 93.

Artistes who played the venue, which had a somewhat fluid capacity ranging from an official 400 up to 800+, in its heyday include The Who, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Genesis and Guns N’Roses.

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Concert revenue reaches £1bn

LIVE MUSIC accounted for almost 25 per cent of the music industry’s total revenue in 2016, a new report UK Music reveals.

The fifth edition of the industry umbrella organisation’s annual Measuring Music survey, shows money generated from live music was up 14 per cent to £1 billion last year, from £904m the previous year.

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The Cellar closure ‘would be a crime’

OXFORD’S THE Cellar (cap. 150) could close early next year, despite more than 13,500 people signing a petition to keep the venue open.

Located beneath a shop, the building owner’s St Michael’s and All Saints’ Charities, want to convert the basement into a retail space when the upstairs tenants move to new premises early next year.

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Villa Marina builds momentum 

A DIVERSE programme of live events is being planned at the Isle of Man’s Villa Marina (cap. 1,626) with the venue once again looking to the future with optimism. 

The Isle of Man Government-owned venue, part of the Villa Gaiety complex, including Gaiety Theatre (900) and Villa Gardens (4,000), has had to cope with a number of staff departures in recent years. 

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Rocket partners with Black Fox 

ELTON JOHN’S artiste management company Rocket Music, has entered into a joint venture with Brighton-based Black Fox Management.

Founded in 2013 by Polly Comber and Josh Smith, Black Fox has a roster that includes Rag’N’Bone Man, Ghostwriter and Balcony. It also previously managed Bastille.

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MMF celebrates 25 years 

SIX ORIGINAL members of the Music Managers Forum (MMF) board were joined by more than 180 young managers and artistes as the trade body marked its 25th anniversary.

Bruce Findlay, Dennis Muirhead, Ed Bicknell, Elliot Rashman, Gail Colson and Steve Finan, who respectively managed bands including Simple Minds, Hugh Padgman, Dire Straits, Simply Red, The Pretenders and All Saints, were among those celebrating the occasion at Manchester’s Old Granada Studios, following You Are The Future of Music – a free day of workshops and seminars.

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Transformed Guild Hall reaps the benefit

THE ADDITION of a new 500-capacity venue and a greater emphasis on live events is delivering results at Preston’s Guild Hall complex.

In danger of being boarded-up in 2014, the then two-theatre building was saved by local businessman Simon Rigby and his Villa Group, which bought it for £1 from the city council. 

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Eventim grows loyalty scheme

EVENTIM UK has launched FanBonus, a loyalty scheme that rewards customers for buying tickets with cashback vouchers.

The platform’s parent company, Germany-based pan Europe ticketing giant CTS Eventim, introduced a soft launch of the scheme earlier this year. Participants of the initiative receive a voucher for three per cent of their yearly ticketing spend.

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Scarborough set for more open air shows 

SCARBOROUGH OPEN Air Theatre could hold as many as 20 live shows next year after Live Nation Entertainment (LNE), the parent company of promoter Cuffe and Taylor (C&T), signed a new 10-year deal with the venue’s owner. 

The agreement with Scarborough Borough Council comes after more than 75,000 people attended 14 shows, including Jess Glynne, Olly Murs, Little Mix and The Beach Boys this year - an increase of 50 per cent on 2016 

Preston-based C&T, which was acquired by LNE earlier this year (see LIVE UK issue 205), exclusively programmed all live events at the venue last year and will continue to do so.

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Venue director appointed for Croydon’s Fairfield Halls

A FORMER head of operations at Croyden’s Fairfield Halls (cap. 1,750) complex will return as venue director as the building’s £30 million refurbishment continues. 

Neil Chandler worked at the two-venue complex between 2009 and 2011 and has also been general manager at the Ambassador Theatre Group-owned Bristol Hippodrome and New Wimbledon Theatre. He will take up the role later this year.

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Rise in ballroom capacity

NORTH LONDON’S Electric Ballroom in Camden will be able to accommodate an extra 400 people for live shows, after the council agreed to a capacity increase to 1,500. 

The venue had previously seen efforts to raise its capacity rebuffed by Camden Council, but the authority relented following an appeal.

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Festival Congress to review the season

COUNTER TERRORISM training, crisis communications and managing an increase in size will be among issued discussed at the fourth edition of Festival Congress, the conference organised by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).

Around 400 delegates are expected to attend the 30-31 October event in Cardiff, with the first day, featuring keynote speeches and panels, held at the National Museum Cardiff, and a second day of workshops at Wales Millennium Centre.

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Future Perfect plans Oxford union

A NEW multi-venue music event, organised by promoter Future Perfect (FP), is to take place in Oxford.

Ritual Union Festival is being staged at the city’s O2 Academy (cap 1,350), The Bullingdon (280), The Truck Store (150) and The Library (50) on 21 October.

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Sound City to hit the road

SHOWCASE FESTIVAL and conference Sound City is to take to the road in 2018, visiting towns between its homebase of Liverpool and Manchester.

Sound City Satellite will be stopping off at locations along the M62 corridor between April and May, in preparation for the main Liverpool dockside event between 4-6 May.

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Arena agrees naming rights deal with airport

THE 13,600-capacity Sheffield Arena has announced a new naming rights partnership with Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), worth a six-figure sum.

The three-year deal sees the venue renamed the FlyDSA Arena. It is hoped the partnership will not only promote the venue and airport, but also the wider region.

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Headline venue for awards 

THE ARTIST & Manager Awards will be held at Printworks London, a former newspaper printing room, on 14 November. 

Created by the Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Featured Artist Coalition (FAC), the event comprises awards including Breakthrough Manager, Manager of the Year and Artist of the Year, as well as the Peter Grant Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented to Depeche Mode manager Jonathan Kessler.

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  UK Best Venues for Contemporary Live Music
Part 2 Open-air venues, stadiums, arenas, campus venues, arts centres, clubs, pubs & bars.

The annual 88-page round-up of the most proactive venue managers and operators working predominantly with contemporary live music, featuring interviews with and profiles of key figures.
  UK Venues for Contemporary Live Music (2017)
Part 1 Theatres and Concert Halls

The annual 92-page round-up of the most proactive venue managers and operators working predominantly with contemporary live music, featuring a directory, interviews with and profiles of key figures.